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Home » Conor Benn, Josh Taylor lose out as Terence Crawford drops title

Conor Benn, Josh Taylor lose out as Terence Crawford drops title

Conor Benn is facing disappointment in his bid to fight for the vacant WBC welterweight title following Terence Crawford’s dropping of the belt.

The WBC should choose the Briton as one of the top two-ranked fighters at 147 pounds. At present, Souleymane Cissokho is ranked one, and Benn is two. Still, the fact the Londoner has a temporary suspension imposed by the British Boxing Board of Control – that could become permanent – has hampered his chances of being selected.

Crawford, one of the undefeated Benn’s targets, asked to be downgraded to ‘Champion is Recess’ with the WBC, rather than completely stripped of the title. The WBC confirmed the move late on Monday evening.

Terence Crawford is WBC Champion in Recess

They said: “The WBC Board of Governors has voted to accept our proud WBC welterweight champion, Terence Crawford, to be placed as champion in recess in the welterweight division.

“Terence Crawford conquered the WBC Welterweight championship with a spectacular performance, knocking out previously undefeated Eroll Spence on July 29th, 2023. “Crawford will fight on August 3rd at the BMO Stadium, Los Angeles, California, in the debut promotion of Riyadh Season in the United States. His upcoming fight will be at Super welterweight against Israil Madrimov.

“The WBC Board also voted to officially sanction the Crawford vs Madrimov as a final elimination bout for the mandatory position in the Super Welterweight division. Terence Crawford will inform the WBC which division he wishes to compete in after the August fight.”

Crawford will likely remain at 154, barring a disastrous debut at super welterweight. Before that, the WBC must select two challengers to contest the vacant strap.

Cissokho will undoubtedly be one. However, Benn won’t be the other due to his ongoing problems following two drug failures. Astonishingly, Benn’s compatriot Josh Taylor was rated at three by the WBC at welterweight despite never fighting at the weight. His loss to Jack Catterall also ends his hopes of facing Cissokho as the next contender in line. Taylor lost a unanimous decision to Catterall that put his career in jeopardy.

It’s a sorry situation for both boxers who, for one reason or another, won’t be able to take their rightful place as WBC title challenger.

David Avanesyan, rated four, will get the call to face Cissokho in the coming days.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.